The Race

Montando Bicicleta en Montería

Outdoor running is an easy sport to perform. All you need is a pair of tennis shoes and the motivation – although sometimes hard to find – to go outside. For this reason, it is common to see everyday runners on the streets. Some of them like to get up early to jog, while others prefer to do it in the late afternoon; some go alone and others in groups; some listen to music while running and others prefer not to. There are as many styles of runners as there are runners in the world. For them, cities today are one of their favorite practice tracks.

Thousands of races are held annually around the world, and over 10 million runners participate in them. The cancellation of sporting events in 2020 did not stop the runners; many people turned to running and participated in virtual races. Little by little, in-person races have resumed, adapted to the new reality.

For cities, sporting events represent the possibility of attracting tourism and business, and of generating health and wellness spaces for their citizens. To host a race opens a city so its inhabitants and visitors can discover its most interesting facets. Running in a race through a city allows us to perceive details that we do not notice when we move in it during our daily routine: the particular design of building that we failed to notice, the park we did not know existed, and the secret hill hidden in that long street which we had thought so flat. In those kilometers, we find the hidden beauty in the shadow a tree casts on the pavement, in the colors of dawn, and in the magnificence of a river that extends into infinity.

In the streets, we can also get to know its people. We see the runners’ families cheering them on to reach the finish line, those persons who have carefully organized the hydration stations so we can continue on our way, the stranger who shouts words of encouragement to all the runners, and the passers-by who are amazed to see rivers of people running, without really understanding why they do it. A race also allows us to recognize ourselves in each of the runners. Each runner has their story and their motivation. Among them are people of all ages. There are families united around a common goal. And there are people who, despite their apparent physical limitations, take to the streets to conquer a goal and show us that will and desire are always more powerful. In the next few days, Monteria will receive all the athletes who will run the Río half marathon. May this be an opportunity for others to get to know our cities and our people, for us to connect through the athletic experience, and to recognize and treasure the beauty of this city and enjoy it collectively.

María Angélica Burgos De la Ossa

November 20, 2021


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